The Sierra Century provides a great opportunity to see wineries in Amador and El Dorado Counties. A brochure listing the wineries along the routes and containing a map showing their location will be available on information tables in Pokerville Hall on both days of the event.
Wineries are scattered throughout Amador and El Dorado Counties. In Amador County, most of the wineries are located in the Shenandoah Valley. The three longer routes of the Sierra Century pass through the valley during the last 10 miles. Twenty-seven of the 45 members of the Amador Vintners Association (a Sierra Century sponsor) are located in this valley. For more information about association member wineries, including a map and a listing of wineries and their tasting hours, go to www.amadorwine.com Some of these wineries participate in one or more of the nine tasting rooms located on Main Street in the downtown historical district of Sutter Creek. The association describes its wineries as follows:"Amador County, in the heart of the Sierra Foothills, is home to over 40 wineries producing classic zinfandels, many from ancient vines dating back to 1863. In the last 35 years, Amador vintners have lead the way introducing Italian, Spanish, and Rhone varietals to the foothills, making world-renowned barbera, sangiovese, tempranillo, syrah, viognier and roussanne.What sets Amador apart from other wine regions of California is elevation. Nestled against the western flanks of the Sierra Nevada, vineyards are planted up to 3000' elevation in decomposed granite and volcanic soils. Long warm days and cooler nights create a temperature differential of over 30 degrees--allowing grapes to mature slowly while developing deep, complex flavors.
Visiting Amador County wineries, where unpretentious hospitality is the norm, is a real delight. Many are small family operations situated along scenic back roads in some of California's most picturesque rural settings. You're likely to meet the winemaker or owner during a visit and enjoy their favorite spot to sip wine--perhaps with a view of beautiful, snow-capped Sierras or a place to picnic under grand old oak trees surrounded by vines."
In El Dorado County, four routes of the Sierrra Century pass through the wine country of Fair Play and Slug Gulch, beginning around Mile 70 of the Classic Century route . About 20 of the 50 wineries of the El Dorado Winery Association (another Sierra Century sponsor) are located in this area. For more information, including maps and winery listings and tasting hours, go to www.eldoradowines.org ("Taste at a higher level") or www.fairplaywine.com ("Wines with an altitude").